Attracting young employees: 6 tips on how to inspire young employees for your company

If you want to attract and inspire young employees to join your company, you need to know what matters to them at work

What do young employees expect from an employer?? Answers to these questions are provided by a new study. How companies can attract and retain young employees.

If you want to attract young employees to your company in the long term, you should know what makes them tick – and what is important to them in terms of their work. But it’s not that easy to find out. Many prejudices about the so-called "Generation Y" – young employees born after 1985 – are circulating through companies and the media. Millennials, as they are also known, are considered spoiled, fun-oriented, and no longer want to take on management positions, but instead attach importance to having enough free time. But: Is this true at all??

What is important to this generation with regard to their work was investigated by the personnel service provider Manpower in a recent study. 19.000 millennials from 25 countries were asked what they expect from a job, what development opportunities they aspire to and why they would stay with an employer.

The results at a glance:

  • Both young women and men value time for themselves and sufficient free time. At the same time, they attach great importance to being able to work flexibly. But they work just as hard as other generations – or even harder. 72 percent of respondents from Germany said they work more than 40 hours per week; for 13 percent it is even more than 50 hours per week.
  • But it’s also important to them to be able to take time off occasionally. Almost one in two plans to take longer breaks to relax, travel or go on vacation. But many people (26 percent in Germany) also want to take time off for professional development.
  • A majority of Millennials want diverse work and new challenges. Many also know that it is important to develop their own skills and qualifications – and want to be able to do so in the context of their work. For almost three-quarters of respondents from Germany, acquiring new skills and qualifications on the job is even a decisive argument when choosing a new job.
  • However, they also expect to be rewarded for their efforts, to feel secure in their jobs and to have the freedom to take a break now and then to recharge their batteries.
  • Recognition and affirmation are also important: If their work is not sufficiently appreciated, half of all respondents in Germany are willing to quit their current job, according to the survey.

And what can and should employers do to attract and retain young people??

Get regular feedback!

According to Manpower, those who regularly seek feedback from their employees can avoid these problems from the outset. To ensure that this is the case in everyday working life, it may be necessary to establish new information exchange and feedback channels.

Show that training is important to you!

Create opportunities for internal training and make it clear to your employees that it is beneficial for them to stay with the company and continue to develop there. Introduce them to people who have moved up in your company as a result of training and development in the workplace.

Create opportunities for young employees to work in different teams on different projects so they can gain experience. Fulfill – if possible – your employees’ desire for new opportunities and experiences without them having to change companies.

Have regular conversations about professional development!

Talk to your young employees regularly about their development opportunities. Replace or supplement the annual employee appraisal with short-term goals and implement ways to achieve them.

Show your employees how valuable they are!

Provide regular feedback and – very importantly! – provide confirmation in personal conversations. It costs you nothing and it’s very effective at motivating people.

Allow your employees to take longer breaks sometimes, too!

Anticipate that young employees will want to take time off, and make such breaks part of your company culture. Make it clear what flexibility you can offer and support your employees in returning to work after their break.

Offer flexible working time models!

Most young employees still want to work full time, but they don’t want to be a part of the workforce. More and more employees are open to alternative work models and would like to work part-time so that they can devote the rest of their time to other interests or jobs. If you give young employees more flexibility in when and how they work and a wider range of tasks, they will be more motivated – and the chance increases that they will want to work for you in the long term.

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